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BLUES BROS Chelsea’s 2012 and 2021 teams compared as Cech claims Tuchel’s champions more deserving of his ‘really lucky’ side

CHELSEA legend Petr Cech has claimed his side 'were really lucky' to win the Blues' first ever Champions League trophy back in 2012.

The shot-stopper added that Thomas Tuchel and Co ‘deserved’ to win the title in May, but said the two squads were similar in the close bonds between the players.BLUES BROS Chelsea’s 2012 and 2021 teams compared as Cech claims Tuchel’s champions more deserving of his ‘really lucky’ side 2BLUES BROS Chelsea’s 2012 and 2021 teams compared as Cech claims Tuchel’s champions more deserving of his ‘really lucky’ side 3

Cech told chelseafc.com: “In 2012, there were games when we were really lucky. 2021 is beautiful in the way that the team really deserved in every single game to win.”

But he added: “The similarity I would say was the togetherness of the group and the preparation and the atmosphere in the team, I think that was the same.”

Chelsea’s 2021 cohort managed to get the job done in normal time, narrowly beating Manchester City 1-0 thanks to a Kai Havertz goal.

Cech and his 2012 team-mates meanwhile had to do it the hard way against Bayern Munich on their own patch at the Allianz Arena.

Thomas Muller thought he’d won it for Bayern after opening the scoring in the 83rd minute, only for a bullet header from Didier Drogba on 88 minutes sending the game into extra-time.Arjen Robben then had a chance to win it from the spot during the additional period but saw his effort saved by Cech.

The Blues then won 4-3 on penalties with Drogba historically scoring the winning penalty.BLUES BROS Chelsea’s 2012 and 2021 teams compared as Cech claims Tuchel’s champions more deserving of his ‘really lucky’ side 4BLUES BROS Chelsea’s 2012 and 2021 teams compared as Cech claims Tuchel’s champions more deserving of his ‘really lucky’ side 5

Goalkeeper

Petr Cech was heroic in the 2012 final and is for many Blues fans Chelsea’s greatest ever goalkeeper.

But in Edouard Mendy the club have found a genuine rival for that mantle, should he stays at the club for years to come.

Mendy kept nine clean sheets in the route to the 2021 final (equalling a Champions League record) and has carried that stunning form into this season.Defenders

Roberto Di Matteo lined up with a back four and had Gary Cahill and David Luiz anchoring his defence.

Tuchel meanwhile employed three centre-backs in Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta.

He then had Ben Chilwell and Reece James as wing-backs while in 2012 club legend Ashley Cole and Jose Bosingwa operated as more traditional full-backs.

Midfielders

Both sides boasted incredible central midfield partnerships.Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel lined up in the middle of the park in 2012, while Tuchel started the irreplaceable N’Golo Kante alongside Jorginho in Porto.BLUES BROS Chelsea’s 2012 and 2021 teams compared as Cech claims Tuchel’s champions more deserving of his ‘really lucky’ side 6BLUES BROS Chelsea’s 2012 and 2021 teams compared as Cech claims Tuchel’s champions more deserving of his ‘really lucky’ side 7

Attackers

The diminutive Juan Mata played in the hole behind Drogba nine years ago, while Tuchel didn’t opt to select one out-and-out No10.

Instead Tuchel started both Mason Mount and Kai Havertz behind Timo Werner, but in a wider role than the one Mata took up in 2012.

And the selection did the trick for the German, with Mount setting up Havertz for the only goal of the game back in May.Meanwhile Ryan Bertrand and Salomon Kalou lined up on the wings nine years ago.

Up front talisman Drogba started the 2012 final, while the struggling Timo Werner was entrusted by Tuchel against Manchester City.

Substitutes

The 2012 bench consisted of Ross Turnbull, Paulo Ferreira, Michael Essien, Oriol Romeu, Florent Malouda, Daniel Sturridge and Fernando Torres.Meanwhile this year it was the lengthy list of Kepa, Willy Caballero, Marcos Alonso, Andreas Christensen, Christian Pulisic, Kurt Zouma, Mateo Kovacic, Olivier Giroud, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Hakim Ziyech, Billy Gilmour and Emerson.

Only Malouda and Torres were introduced by Di Matteo, while Tuchel brought on Christensen, Pulisic and Kovacic.

Nana Kay

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